Potholes are commonly encountered road defects that most drivers try to avoid. If a pothole is large enough, it can cause a driver to lose control of his or her vehicle and cause an accident. When a car accident is caused by a pothole, proving that the party responsible for maintaining the road should be held accountable for any harm caused by the accident can be difficult. If you suffered property damage or injuries due to an accident that was caused by a pothole, you should meet with a knowledgeable New Hampshire car accident lawyer to assess whether you may be able to recover damages. The attorneys at Peter Thompson and Associates collectively have over 60 years of experience helping New Hampshire residents harmed due to pothole accidents seek compensation for their injuries. Our knowledge and experience will enable us to provide you with effective representation in your car accident case.Causes of Potholes
Potholes are typically caused by poor drainage, wear and tear on the road, and lack of maintenance. Potholes begin when water enters a crack or pit in the roadway. When the water freezes, the area occupied by the water expands, making the crack larger and allowing it to absorb more water. Over time, the freeze and thaw cycle causes buckling in the pavement and a larger hole. Additionally, chemicals used to treat winter weather conditions can exacerbate the deterioration of the roads. Potholes tend to occur more frequently in the winter and spring, due to increased precipitation and fluctuating temperatures.Proving Liability for Pothole Accidents
In most cases, for an injured party to be awarded compensation for harm sustained in an accident caused by a pothole, he or she will need to prove that another party’s negligence caused the accident to occur. In New Hampshire, to show that a party’s negligent actions caused you harm, you must show that the party owed you a duty, the duty was breached, and the breach caused the accident and your subsequent harm. In proving that the breach caused the accident, you must show both that the accident would not have happened if the duty was not breached and that the breach was a substantial factor in bringing about the accident.
Public roads are typically maintained by the municipality in which they are located. As a result, if you were injured in an accident caused by a pothole on a public highway, the party responsible for ensuring that the road is free of hazards is most likely a government entity. Proving that a government entity is liable is not impossible, but it does present challenges. Under New Hampshire law, municipalities and other government entities are immune from liability, with some exceptions. One exception involves injuries caused by the maintenance of highways. To show that the exception should apply, you must produce evidence that the pothole presented a hazard that could not be avoided or was not reasonably discoverable by drivers, and that the municipality had received written notice or had actual notice of the danger presented by the pothole and failed to remedy it. Pursuing claims against the state or a municipality is a complicated process. If you were injured in a pothole accident, you should retain a New Hampshire attorney who is experienced in pursuing claims against government entities.Recoverable Damages
Damages commonly sought in a case arising out of an accident caused by a pothole include the cost to repair any damage to your car. Additionally, you may be able to recover damages for the cost of treating any injuries sustained in the accident, which can include the cost of treatment that you may need in the future. You might also be granted damages for lost wages, if you were unable to work due to your injuries, or loss of future earnings if your earning potential is permanently reduced.
If you were injured in a pothole accident in New Hampshire, it is important to pursue damages in a timely manner, since a lawsuit to recover damages for personal injuries must be filed within three years of the date of the accident.Consult an Experienced New Hampshire Attorney
Potholes can cause serious accidents that result in significant and lasting injuries. If you were involved in a pothole accident, you may be able to recoup damages for the injuries and costs caused by the accident. The attorneys of Peter Thompson and Associates will aggressively advocate on your behalf to assist you in your pursuit of compensation. Our skillful representation has allowed us to maintain a long record of favorable verdicts. Our offices are located in Bedford, Nashua, Portsmouth, and Manchester, New Hampshire, and we represent clients throughout the state. We can be reached at 800.804.2004 or via our form online to set up a meeting.